The Original Blue Bayou

What is a Blue Bayou?

original blue bayou 45The Blue Bayou was a quiet bayou located in Louisiana. In the Blue Bayou, a thin layer of mist would often float over the water’s surface. The inhabitants of the bayou typically lived in houseboats and elevated shacks that were situated in the middle of the swamp.

The Original Blue Bayou

Blue Bayou” was written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. Roy Orbison’s songs,  production, and performance were key factors in his success. His songs were original in structure, sound and style. He was  willing to take a chance on a sound that did not conform to what was acceptable at that time.  Roy Orbison developed an unbroken string of Top 40 hits that lasted for four years and he became the top selling American artist and one of the world’s biggest names.

“Blue Bayou” told a sad story –  one of loss, nostalgia, and heartbreak. Yet, unlike many Roy Orbison songs that dwell on such sad topics, the music of the Blue Bayou track is generally happy.

Blue Bayou was originally sung and recorded by Roy Orbison in 1961.  The 1963 version became an international hit.

A Linda Ronstadt Hit

In 1977,  Blue Bayou became a Linda Ronstadt hit and one of her signature songs.  Linda Ronstadt took the song to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100  in late 1977, holding for 4 weeks.  It was also  number 2 Country and number 3 Easy Listening.

In January 1978, the Blue Bayou single was RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) certified Gold for sales of over 1 million US copies.   Blue Bayou was the first of Linda Ronstadt’s three Gold singles. Don Henley of the Eagles sang backup on the recording.  Later “Blue Bayou” was certified Platinum with over 2 million copies sold in the United States. It was a worldwide smash and was also popular in a Spanish-language version called “Lago Azul”.

Now you can hear Carolyn Benson carry on the tradition and sing Blue Bayou backed up by her talented Blue Bayou Tribute Band!


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